In the past, I posted a vlog about what to expect during your child’s speech language evaluation. I have also covered red flags to watch for that may indicate your child should should be evaluated by a Speech-Language Pathologist for feeding difficulties, language delays , and/or speech sound (articulation) difficulties.
If you are concerned that your child is demonstrating delays in their speech sounds, language, or feeding/swallowing, it is time to seek out a professional evaluation. You may should also have your child evaluated, if he or she is showing signs of stuttering or problems with their voice. An evaluation should be completed by a certified Speech-Language Pathologist, which means they hold their Certificate of Clinical Competence.
Requirements for Certificate of Clinical Competence
- Completed intensive course work through an accredited graduate school
- Passed a national examination
- Completed a clinical fellowship year
- Participates in ongoing continuing education courses
Where to Locate a Certified Speech-Language Pathologist
Based on your child’s age, areas of weaknesses and your medical insurance, there are several different options when determining where to bring your child for a Speech-Language evaluation.
Age Specific Speech Language Evaluation Options
- Early Intervention (Birth to Three Years)- A federally funded program that is mandated by law, early intervention programs provide a wide range of services to children and their families. These services are provided for free or at a low cost, depending on the state. Services provide may include speech therapy, occupational and physical therapy, vision therapy, educational services, deaf and hard of hearing services and more. Please visit The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Program to locate specific contact information by State.
- Public School System (Ages 3 to 5 Years)- Under federal law, your local public school system is required to provide your child with a full speech language evaluation. Based on assessment results, your child may qualify for speech therapy services through the school system. Contact the special education department in your local school district to schedule the assessment.
- Public School System (Ages 5 to 21) – At age 5, your local school district is mandated under federal law to assess your child’s speech and language skills, should you have concerns. If he/she meets the requirements for services, they will receive individual and/or group therapy while at school. The frequency of services are based on your child’s severity level. Service frequency may also be impacted by caseload size although it shouldn’t. You will need to be a strong advocate for your child, remaining involved in his/her treatment and requesting an increase in services should you feel it is necessary.
- Hospital Setting (All Ages) Community hospitals may or may not provide speech and language services for children. Children’s hospitals provide a wide range of services for all pediatric speech and language disorders, including feeding disorders, voice disorders, and augmentative alternative communication needs.
- Outpatient Clinic (All Ages) There are two main types of outpatient clinics, full rehabilitation centers that may include speech, physical and occupational therapy, and stand alone Speech Therapy businesses.
- Private Practice (Age Range Varies) Speech-Language Pathologist’s who run a practice may or may not accept insurance. Some private practice’s specialize in specific diagnosis and/or disorders.
- University Clinic (All Ages) Universities or colleges that have Speech Language programs provide evaluation and therapy services as part of the graduate school curriculum. Therapy services will often be carried out by a graduate student who is supervised under a professor, associate professor, or doctorate student.
Important Resources to Locate a Speech-Language Pathologist in Your Community
- To search for Speech-Language Pathologist by state, disorder or age specialty, please visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association .
- Visit the Specialty Board on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders to locate a SLP certified in the evaluation and treatment of feeding and swallowing disorders.
- Check out the Specialty Board on Fluency Disorders for a provider trained in stuttering.
Be sure to come back for tomorrow’s post on how to prepare for your child’s speech language evaluation. If you found this post interesting or helpful, please post it to Pinterest or Tweet about using the socialize buttons below. Stay up to date on these weekly speech, language, and feeding articles, by subscribing to the posts by entering your e-mail address in the left sidebar.